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Low Risk?
Jun 28, 2001

Hi thanks for all you do! I have a question. Two times I have sucked a guy of unknown status for less then a minute then he sucked me off. (Two different guys) Is this low risk? I can not seem to get a straight answer to this question.

Response from Mr. Kull

Oral sex is low-risk for HIV infection. Low-risk is a relative term. When compared to unprotected anal and vaginal sex, oral sex is much less likely to cause infection. Out of the different behaviors in the category of oral sex, performing oral sex on a man constitutes the greatest risk for infection. Performing oral sex on a woman seems to be much lower risk, and receiving oral sex (whether you are a man or a woman) has an even lower risk (there is no evidence that people get infected through receiving oral sex).

There is growing anecdotal evidence and some recent studies that demonstrate infection can and has happened through individuals performing oral sex on men. One recent study that gathered information about the route of transmission among approximately 100 HIV infected gay men found that 7-8% were probably infected through performing oral sex on men. All had come into contact with pre-semen or semen. See the CDC's report at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/pubs/facts/oralsexqa.htm.

You can practically eliminate your risk for infection through oral sex by using a latex condom. Since many people opt to not suck on rubber, prevention experts recommend that an individual performing oral sex on a man can reduce their risk by not letting their partners ejaculate in their mouth. It is also advisable that oral sex is avoided if there is the presence STDs in the person's mouth or the partner's penis, and if there are any problems with oral health (cuts, sores, bleeding gums, inflammation).

See The Body's page on oral sex for more information (http://www.thebody.com/safesex/oralsex.html).

RMK



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